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Issa Rae made a name for herself by being and creating characters that are nothing short of authentic. In her new cover story for Glamour, Rae explains how Insecure does little by way of explaining racism to a white audience, and instead leans on the privileged knowledge shared between people of color to make the storyline that’s honest, messy, and funny without having to always be for everyone.
“You can always tell when [a black show] feels overly explained. If you’re targeting a specific audience, there’s a shorthand people of color have, where you don’t need to explain it,” she told Shade Room founder Angelica Nwandu.
Insecure is currently in its third season, and Rae says that’s all due the show’s majority minority crew. “I could never do this show and have a predominantly white staff,” she explained.
In return, the show boasts of fans like Michelle Obama, and a loyal audience of people who get it, even when some of its writers don't. “I just want to do my pure story, and if I’m not, it’s just not worth it. And Prentice feels the same,” she told Glamour, referencing showrunner Pentice Penny. “Sometimes the white writers will be like, ‘I didn’t even know what that line meant until I watched the show,’ and I’m like, ‘That’s OK. There are some things that are just for us.’”
Insecure airs Sunday nights on HBO. Issa will also star in the upcoming film adaptation of The Hate U Give, which hits theaters Oct. 18.